If you don’t already have a smart meter installed at your premises, chances are you will have been made aware of them.
Smart meters are the next generation of energy meters that will be replacing your existing meter within the next few years. They work by sending electronic readings automatically to your energy supplier for both electric and gas usage.
Along with Automated reading they also have an ‘In-house’ display. This will give you a clear visibility on your company’s consumption and costs. If you have multiple buildings this will allow you to see which is running most efficiently. Monitoring and highlighting ways your business could become more energy efficient, will in turn lead to lower bills and have a real impact on the environment.
It is also hoped that with this new technology, suppliers will be able to offer the best tariff for your business needs intuitively. This means you will always be on the most cost effective plan your supplier can offer. However this doesn’t always mean it is the cheapest plan available to you – It’s always prudent to make sure you have checked the market for the best prices. If you have a consultant who helps you with your energy procurement they should make sure this is done before your contract is due to renew.
There are 3 main benefits of Smart Metering:-
- Accurate Billing – Smart meters will mean an end of estimated billing. You will no longer have ‘Credit’ with your supplier; you will only pay for what you have consumed. Therefore your money works for you rather than sits in an account with your supplier.
- Clear visibility of ‘In house’ consumption for future management of usage and costs.
- No manual readings – with the best will in the world there is always room for human error. Wrong readings lead to a wrong invoice and can prove quite costly, especially as receiving a credit can be a long process. Automatic readings sent directly to your supplier will ensure your invoice will be 100% accurate.
A substantial number of businesses have already received installation of their smart meters; this is ahead of the government rollout deadline which specifies large businesses are to be installed by 2014 and small businesses by 2019. Smart meters are usually installed by your energy supplier, although there are independent companies who will assist your installation should you prefer.
The price of smart metering has reduced significantly over the past year. Comparatively the cost between monthly manual reads, obtaining remote reads and online half hourly data has lessened significantly. Initial smart metering trials by The Carbon Trust showed that smart energy meters, when combined with consumption data, gave potential average savings of 12% per annum.
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